President Joe Biden responded to the Fourth of July shooting in Highland Park, Illinois, by grieving with the victims and lauding recent gun control legislation.
The 21-year-old suspect allegedly killed six people and hospitalized at least 30 others from his perch on a suburban Chicago rooftop, where police later recovered a “high-powered rifle.” Officers caught the suspect five miles north of Highland Park later on Independence Day. The Daily Wire does not name mass shooting suspects once they are in custody as part of a policy aimed at depriving them of the notoriety they often crave.
Biden commented on the tragedy by noting that he offered Governor J.B. Pritzker (D-IL) and Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering (D) federal support.
“Jill and I are shocked by the senseless gun violence that has yet again brought grief to an American community on this Independence Day. As always, we are grateful for the first responders and law enforcement on the scene,” Biden said in a White House statement. “Members of the community should follow guidance from leadership on the ground, and I will monitor closely as we learn more about those whose lives have been lost and pray for those who are in the hospital with grievous injuries.”
Biden also lauded his efforts to sign “the first major bipartisan gun reform legislation in almost thirty years.” Indeed, 15 Republicans in the Senate recently joined Democratic colleagues in passing a bill to fund controversial red flag laws in states and end the so-called “boyfriend loophole.”
“But there is much more work to do,” Biden added, “and I’m not going to give up fighting the epidemic of gun violence.”
A poster released by the FBI showed that the person of interest is a white male weighing 120 pounds and standing 5’ 11” tall. With a wiry frame, the suspect has brown hair with several tattoos, including four tally marks with a line running through them on his right cheek, red rose and green leaves on his neck, and cursive script about his left eyebrow.
According to reports, the suspect had an active YouTube page operated under the handle “Awake the Rapper.” Among other disturbing videos, one post shows a pencil drawing of a person gunning down a crowd in between a montage of shots featuring the suspect backed by cinematic-like music.
The suspect’s uncle told CNN that his nephew showed few signs of violent tendencies. “He’s a quiet kid,” the uncle said. “He’s usually on his own. He’s a lonely, quiet person. He keeps everything to himself.”
Also on the Fourth of July, a shooter in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, shot two police officers during a fireworks show. Footage shows civilians near the city’s art museum fleeing as the display continued.
The Independence Day attacks occurred nearly two months after another shooter killed 19 children and two teachers at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, which marked the second-deadliest school shooting in American history. Days earlier, an attacker who subscribed to extremist racial ideology killed ten people in a Buffalo, New York, grocery store.
A previous version of this article said the suspect is 22-years-old. He is 21-years-old.
Brandon Drey contributed to this report.